Title: Learning in Context: Creativity and Professional Development in Initial
Glen Coutts, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Scotland
World Alliance for Arts Education, 2009 Summit: Towards a Paradigm of
Creative Education for the 21st Century
Creativity is one of the ‘hot’ words in Scottish education at the moment, but
what does it mean to be a creative teacher? How can a teacher foster a
culture of creativity in the classroom?
A challenge for many secondary (high school) teachers is to embed subject
learning in meaningful contexts: contexts that will deliver key subject content
and cultivate what the Scottish government refers to as the ‘core skills’. I am
interested in exploring the potential of creativity and problem solving in all
school subjects and helping produce teachers who are creative in their
teaching and who foster creativity in school students.
Students training to be subject specialist teachers in secondary (high) schools
at the University of Strathclyde have, as a compulsory part of their course, the
option to study an ‘Area of Professional Development’ (APD). This paper
reports on an initiative, which uses selected contexts as starting points for
learning and teaching activity. Central themes include motivating students,
working in groups, problem solving and setting subject learning ‘in context’. A
key additional objective is to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary
practice. The design of the program drew on previous experience of arts-
infused education with trainee social workers and community artists.